What are Music Exams?

There are 8 standard music exam grades, and some exam boards also offer initial tests for early learners and diplomas for advanced musicians.

Each grade represents a level of singing/playing skill and musical knowledge which the pupil demonstrates to an examiner.

When you reach grade 6, these exams can start to be used as UCAS points as well which universities and higher education instituations consider as part of their application process.  For example: if you gain grade 6 with distinction, this is 12 UCAS points.  If you gain grade 8 with distinction this is 30 UCAS points.

There are specific exams for different musical styles.  Here are just a few of the most popular:

Classical - for most instruments that you'd find in an orchestra (woodwind, brass, percussion and strings) as well as classical guitar, piano and singing

Musical Theatre Singing - for those wishing to specialise in this style of singing

Rock and Pop - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric bass, vocals, drum kit or keyboard exams

Jazz - available for selected instruments